Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Milan Lucic is a bear of man. Everything about him is oversized, from his 6-foot-3, 228-pound frame and the force of his personality to the way he plays hockey – mean and on the edge.
Some NHL players just fill space in a dressing room. When Lucic walks in, he radiates a natural ebullience, and it is contagious. And so the fit for Lucic – going from Boston, where he played the first eight seasons of his career, to the Los Angeles Kings – has been seamless.
Lucic makes his first return to Boston Tuesday, when the Kings start a season-high seven-game road trip. They’re comfortably atop the Pacific Division and plotting another long playoff run.
For Lucic, the timing really couldn’t be better. He’s been with the Kings for five months now, long enough to distance himself from his days in Boston, during which the Bruins won a memorable Stanley Cup in 2011. But he’s also looking forward to renewing acquaintances with old friends and the Boston staff, many of whom he plans to see before the teams hit the ice.
His return to Beantown may be a big deal in hockey circles, but, as he says in an interview, “I never asked to get traded.”
from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,
After a slow start, where Crosby managed five points in October, had a minus-11 rating in November and even had some questioning whether he belonged on Canada’s World Cup roster, the two-time league MVP has returned to his old self.
On Monday morning, Crosby was named the NHL's first star of the week after scoring five goals and eight points in three games. Following Monday night's game, he is now on an 11-game point streak, with 12 goals and 22 points during that stretch. And with 53 points in 51 games, he is once again amongst the top-10 in league scoring.
Simply put: Crosby is back. And the rest of the league is on notice.
“A lot of people will judge him just on his points,” said Rutherford. “But the last month or two, I really think he’s been the best complete player in the league, which is not a big statement because he is the best player in the league. He has been the best player for a while and he will be for quite a while going forward.
“He can just put the team on his back and take it.”
This no longer looks like the same team that couldn’t score on the power play, couldn’t string together more than two wins in a row and ended up firing the head coach in early December after stumbling out of the gate with a 15-10-2 record. With Mike Sullivan behind the bench and Crosby leading the offence, the Penguins have two regulation losses in their last 11 games.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The Rangers’ workmanlike 2-1 victory over the Devils at the Garden on Monday cannot obscure how Ryan McDonagh’s concussion complicates matters for general manager Jeff Gorton as the Feb. 29 trade deadline approaches.
For the issue as it applies specifically to pending free agent Keith Yandle is no longer black and white in the aftermath of the grey matter rattled inside the captain’s skull as a result of the gloved sucker punch he took on the jaw from Wayne Simmonds in Philadelphia on Saturday.
There is no rule of thumb to apply to recovery time from brain injuries. The Rangers have not released any information regarding the severity of McDonagh’s symptoms, but they were bad enough that he did not make it to the rink at all Monday.
Is this going to be a long-term or short-term absence? It is folly to hazard a guess. But the injury clouds Gorton’s mandate. If McDonagh’s symptoms persist, the Rangers obviously cannot even think about dealing Yandle, who led the team in ice time both against the Flyers and the Devils, getting 27:33 and 25:19, respectively.
Ottawa's new scoring connection, Crosby continues to climb in the scoring race; Letang, Datsyuk, fantasy and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone - The Senators duo each contributed three points in a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay. Pageau had a goal and two assists, and has eight points (3 G, 5 A) in the past six games, while Stone scored twice and added an assist, giving him eight points (5 G, 3 A) in the past four games.
Sidney Crosby - Okay, this is getting nuts now. Crosby put up two goals - both on breakaways - and two assists in a 6-2 win over Anaheim, giving him 22 points (12 G, 10 A) during an 11-game point streak. He's tied for fifth in the league with 53 points in 51 games.
Kris Letang - Crosby's on a great run, but so is Pittsburgh's No. 1 defenceman. With two assists against Anaheim, Letang has 26 points (8 G, 18 A) in the past 17 games. Erik Karlsson is the only defenceman ranked ahead of Letang's 0.95 points per game.
Pavel Datsyuk - Detroit's slick puckhandler buried a couple of goals, on nine shot attempts (7 SOG), in a 3-0 win over Florida. He has 12 points (3 G, 9 A) in the past 11 games. While his points-per-game production is his lowest since his rookie season, Datsyuk continues to drive play for the Red Wings.
read on for more from Scott Cullen of TSN...
Catch the highlights from the four NHL games played last night.
from Milan Lucic at The Players' Tribune,
is is how naive I was when I got to Boston. Are you ready for this?
We had this really nice guy who worked for the team and handled all the road travel. He was in his early 70s. His name was Johnny, and he was just awesome. I was a 19-year-old kid in my first training camp. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I didn’t know about NHL travel. I knew about WHL buses. So Johnny had my back. He was kind of like a cool grandfather to me.
One day after practice, I was sitting in the locker room talking to one of my teammates, and I was like, “Johnny’s a real nice guy, eh?”
He goes, “Johnny who?”
“You know, the road guy. Johnny. Can’t remember his last name.”
“You mean Johnny friggin’ Bucyk?!”
“Is that his name? Sorry, man. Still trying to learn everybody.”
Patrick Burke with the explanation.
via a press release from the Winnipeg Jets,
The Winnipeg Jets today announced they have signed defenceman Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year contract extension with an average annual value of $7.6 million.
Byfuglien, 30, has recorded 32 points (15G, 17A) so far this season while appearing in all 52 games and sits in a tie for second amongst all NHL defencemen with his 15 goals. Byfuglien leads the Jets so far this season in shots (163), penalty minutes (78) and ice time (24:14 per game). The native of Roseau, MN, was named to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville, TN where he recorded a goal and an assist for the Central Division team. Byfuglien has been named to the All-Star Game in each of the last four seasons that the game has taken place (2011, 2012, 2015, 2016).
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
The fully extended push from behind by Ristolainen occurred after Marchand had lost possession of the puck and therefore did not prevent the scoring opportunity. The actions of Ristolainen throughout this play were worthy of a minor penalty.
Instead, the Bruins were awarded a penalty shot and scored.
Watch the play below...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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